Along with a new president, four new deans take the reins this fall at the University of Georgia.
The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the College of Engineering, the School of Public and International Affairs and the Terry College of Business received new leaders over the summer. Charles Davis assumed the role for Grady, Donald Leo for the College of Engineering, Stefanie Lindquist for SPIA and Charles Knapp for Terry’s interim dean.
“I feel like we’re in really good shape heading into the year,” Davis said.
For the first time in 25 years, Davis said he is “struck with the oddity of not having a syllabus in [his] hand.”
Davis made the transition from professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism to Grady dean officially on July 1 and has since been spending a large portion of his time meeting with Grady’s donor base, alumni and faculty.
“I’ve had a lot of homework,” Davis said, noting that he has been reading up on the policy’s of UGA as well as working to develop a strategic plan for the future course of Grady.
Leo, previously a Virginia Tech vice president and former associate dean, said he too has spent most of his time since July 1 meeting with staff, students, faculty and university administrators while simultaneously ensuring that the fundraising aspects of the college are primed.
“We’re in an exciting time,” Leo said, noting that the college would “be hiring a number of new faculty in the coming years.”
Leo pointed out that this coming year will have the largest number of students the program has seen to date. He has been working with faculty on plans to ensure that as the student population grows, there is equal growth in services provided to them.
“Growing rapidly provides excitement and apprehension to ensure resources are spent appropriately,” Leo said.
Lindquist, who took the dean position on Aug. 1 said the bulk of her time has been spent “familiarizing [herself] with school policy and procedures and meeting with faculty” to begin developing a vision for the school going forward.
Lindquist left her position as the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts and associate dean for external affairs at the University of Texas School of Law and returned to the campus where she began her academic career in 1996.
“The students are what make it worthwhile,” she said, noting her excitement for the beginning of classes and recalling how much she enjoyed teaching at UGA in the past.
“The position requires a lot of energy and discipline, and I’ll try to bring my best,” Lindquist said.
Knapp, who’s only serving as interim dean of Terry from July 1 to June 30, 2014, held position as the president of UGA from 1987 to 1997.
Knapp was unavailable for comment due to a tight schedule, according to Matt Weeks, public relations coordinator in Terry. Weeks noted that Knapp has been extremely busy with faculty meetings, conference calls and preparations for the coming year.
Although newly appointed to their positions, these four deans have hit the ground running with the intentions to help their respective departments move forward successfully.